added by archaeologs A large carnivore of the family Ursidae, closely related to the dog (family Canidae) and raccoon (Procyonidae). The bear is the most recently evolved of carnivores and it appears to have diverged from the dog family during the Miocene. It evolved through such forms as the Pliocene Hyaenarctos (of Europe, Asia, and North America), into modern types such as the black and brown bear (Ursus). Today's bears are of three groups: the brown bears, the black bears, and the polar bear. Occasional finds of fossil polar bear bones outside the Arctic Circle are presumably related to the presence of pack ice and ice shelves at the edges of ice sheets during glaciations. Brown bears existed in Europe and Asia during the late Quaternary period. One very large variant evolved in Europe, the 'Cave Bear', whose fossils are quite common in Quaternary cave deposits.